Leadership Job Interview Questions for Employers to Ask Applicants

Information about What You Want to Find in Your Job Applicants' Answers

Assess Leadership With Interview Questions
Assess Leadership With Interview Questions. Jack Hollingsworth / Getty Images

The following sample job interview questions about leadership enable you to assess your candidate's skills and experience. Feel free to use these job interview questions in your own candidate interviews.

  • You decided to reorganize the department or work unit that you lead. Tell me how you proceeded with the reorganization?
  • Have you ever been a member of a successful team? If so, describe the role you played on the team and in its success.
  • Give me an example of a time when you played a leadership role in an event, an activity, a department or work unit, or a project. Describe how you led the efforts. Tell me how people responded to your leadership.
  • Tell me about a time when you failed. How did it happen? How did you handle it?
  • If I were to ask your reporting staff or your peers to comment about your leadership style, your leadership strengths, and your leadership weaknesses, how would they respond? What would this discussion tell me about you as a leader?
  • Would you rather that your employees respected or feared you?
  • Tell me about a time when you created agreement and shared purpose from a situation in which all parties originally differed in opinion, approach, and objectives.
  • As a leader within an organization, you must often build support for goals and projects from people who do not report to you and over whom you have no authority. Tell me about a situation in which you demonstrated that you can build the needed support.
  • What are the three most important values you demonstrate as a leader? Tell me a story that demonstrates each of these leadership values in practice within your workplace.
  • During your work experiences while attending college, tell me about a time when you demonstrated that you have leadership ability and skill.

    Leadership Job Interview Question Answers

    You are questioning to determine whether the candidate has >leadership skills or potential. You seek to identify the leadership style of your candidate, from his or her perspective and from the perspective of his or her direct reporting staff and peers.

    You are determining whether the candidate's style is congruent with the culture of your organization. It is helpful if you have created beforehand a leadership profile that identifies the skills and traits of successful leaders within your organization.

    Leadership style is best demonstrated in stories. Self-examination and commentary is self-serving, at best, in an interview setting. Ask your candidates for many specific stories and examples.

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